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Crime & Courts

Texas woman convicted of murder in deadly Houston day care fire awaits sentence from jury

A second day of deliberations awaited a Houston jury deciding the sentence of a Texas woman convicted of murder after a 2011 fire at her home day care killed four children.

Jurors in the punishment phase of Jessica Tata's trial were to resume working Tuesday. They deliberated for 5½ hours Monday.

Tata is facing up to life in prison. She was convicted last week of felony murder in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo, who along with six other kids was left alone while Tata went shopping.

During closing arguments Monday, prosecutors asked jurors for a life sentence, while defense attorneys asked for a sentence that isn't excessive.

Defense attorneys say Tata is a good person who made a terrible mistake. Prosecutors say she was an irresponsible day care owner.

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